The United States have once again retained the Curtis Cup, recording an 11.5 to 6.5 victory over Great Britain & Ireland at Pacific Dunes Golf & Country Club in Oregon. The overall score in the famous old competiton, for teams of amateur ladies, stands at 26 wins for the USA, 5 wins for Great Britain & Ireland and 3 draws. Another victory for the USA will no doubt result in the usual bi-annual calls for the competition to be extended to include Europeans, as is the case in the professional versions of the event, the Ryder and Solheim Cups.

The format of the event is two days, and the USA took a commanding 7-2 lead into the final day – meaning that they only required two points from Sunday’s matches to be certain of retaining the trophy.

However, the results in the Sunday morning foursomes caused a surprise and, after Great Britain & Ireland took 2.5 of the 3 points on offer in the session, this nourished hope amongst British players and fans that an unlikely victory could be achieved.

Hopes were increased further when Breanne Loucks and Martina Gillen took the first two singles matches for Great Britain & Ireland on Sunday afternoon, thus cutting the USA’s lead to one point. The final four singles matches all went the way of the Americans, however, and they were assured of victory when Jennie Lee defeated Melissa Reid 3&2 in the fourth singles match.

“My team was absolutely superb,” losing GB & I captain Ada O’Sullivan said after the defeat.

“It’s indescribable how proud I am of them. We never gave up and we didn’t think that it would be impossible to win five out of the six points in the afternoon. For a few moments it looked like we could do it, but ultimately we left ourselves with too much to do today.”

After the tournament the much-predicted extension of the competition from two to three days was confirmed. The new format will start at the next Curtis Cup match in 2008, when the competition returns to the UK & Ireland.